by Charlie D. Harper on April 16, 2013

Every ounce of the hard, grueling, exhaustive work necessary in the conversion from promises made to dreams fulfilled is the sole responsibility of the dreamer.
-Sidney Poitier

I had a milestone this weekend.

I’ve dreamed and worked for a long time about building a boat.

Novice, over whom I labored and toiled, and into whom I poured heart and soul and love has finally launched.

Dream Fulfilled.

She’s been finished since the first of January, but I hadn’t had an opportunity where good weather and free time coincided to put her in the water. This weekend it all came together, and we launched.

I loved it.

It’ll take time to learn her quirks and foibles, the most effective ways to get her quickly to and from the water, and how to best work with her hull to achieve, as Phil Bolger put it, the most enjoyment out of a given unit of time.

Saturday, though, I worked her away from the muddy bank of Eagle Creek and into open water. I reached forward, dipped the oars, and took a solid pull.

She leaped forward, light on her feet.

Even now, two days removed, my heart catches in my chest as I think of her surging at my request.

Rowing Novice was an affirmation of Building Novice.

With my family of five aboard Novice became 17 feet of adventure.
The kids didn’t want to turn back. They wanted to keep going, to find a new shore.

We become who we are through what we do and what we think.
Living the Good Life means doing and thinking differently than everyone else. Being, in short, eccentric.

Saturday, rowing the boat I created from a stack of wood and a list of numbers, was one of my highest moments in this pursuit.

The Good Life made manifest.


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